FAA proposes maximum fine in balloon boy case

AP News
Posted: Dec 24, 2009 6:52 PM

The FAA says it is seeking the maximum $11,000 fine against the man behind the balloon boy hoax on grounds that he operated a balloon in a hazardous manner.

The FAA on Thursday released a letter it sent to Richard Heene (HEE'-nee) with the proposed fine.

On Oct. 15, Heene reported his son was aboard a large saucer-like balloon that had floated away. The balloon later landed with no sign of the boy, who was safe at home.

Heene and his wife both received jail sentences Wednesday for the hoax.

Banning Straws
John Stossel

In its letter, the FAA said northbound flights from Denver International Airport were temporarily halted and other planes were diverted during the balloon's flight.

Heene's attorney, David Lane, says he is crafting a response to the letter.